Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Verti Marte: Is It Worth It?

An All That Jazz at Verti Marte

Just about any internet message board that remotely references the French Quarter will include a suggestion to "Hit up Verti Marte for the best po-boys in town." This desire to feed an intoxicated stomach filled to the brim with red tinged punch or ectoplasm hued Hand Grenades is as old as drinking itself. The Italians have a tradition of midnight pasta, the British fish and chips, the French, a pack of cigarettes. The French Quarter's late night sponge food of choice is an All That Jazz at Verti Marte.

Like Rocky and Carlos, Verti Marte has bounced back from a kitchen closing fire. The deli has been spruced up. Well wishers marked up the plywood which covered the doors during the remodel with good tidings, and these get well soon placards now hang on the wall. Order at the back counter, pay up front. Cash only. ATM in the corner.

A stunning array of food is on offer at Verti Marte. Po Boys, sandwiches, rib lunch plates, stuffed this, baked that, sides, salads, chips, macaroni and cheese, and beer. An All That Jazz, a Royal Feast, macaroni and cheese, and two waters. How a place like Verti Marte does not sell non-diet Barq's Root Beer is a mystery to me.

The macaroni and cheese uses thin strands of linguine in place of the typical elbow macaroni. I can't say this makes a better macaroni and cheese. Rather than clinging to the bechamel, the thin strands of pasta slip through the sauce. The result is a puddle of watery queso at the bottom of a Styrofoam container.

All That Jazz is a cacophony of flavors, textures, and temperatures. Grilled ham, shrimp, turkey share a loaf with two types of cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and Wow sauce. The po boy manages to taste like nothing and everything at the same time barely achieving some sort of Buddhist enlightened state. Reaching nirvana may be a laudable goal, but not for a po boy. At the end of the day, an All That Jazz, just is not all that.

The Royal Feast is just a disappointing sandwich to try and eat sober. Again here comes a trifecta of grilled lunch meats, more melted cheese, canned slices of black olives, grilled onions, and more Wow sauce. A few bites in and the saltiness of all the components will make you wish you were drunk.

Shows how much the internet knows.

Verti Marte: Is It Worth It? If drunk, perhaps. If not, no.
1201 Royal Street


RBPoBoy said...

Bourdain calls you guys out for your Treme criticism in his live chat at Gawker...

Clay said...


Anonymous said...

my primary beef w/ VM is how they can offer $10 poboys, $10 six-packs, $20 bottles of wine, but not a frakin credit card machine.

it's not the '80s anymore, shopkeeps! you can process credit cards for a flat 2.75% w/ .00 transaction fees...Square CC for the win.

Rene said...

I even left my beef for restaurants that don't accept credit cards, but have ATMs that charge a fee lie dormant for this post.